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TC 9-56 

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TRAINING CIRCULAR 



SKS RIFLE 

SIMONOV TYPE 56 



HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

OCTOBER 1969 



THE 7.62 MM SIMONOV SEMIAUTOMATIC 
CARBINE (SKS) 



General 

The Soviet-designed Simonov semiautomatic carbine (fig 1 ), a 
gas-operated, integral box magazine-fed weapon equipped with a 
folding blade bayonet, is now obsolete in the Soviet Army, but is 
used by most of the other Eurasian Communist countries. This 
weapon has been manufactured in East Germany as the 
Karabiner-S (fig 2 ), in the People's Republic of China as the Type 
56 semiautomatic carbine, in North Korea as the Type 63 carbine, 
and in Yugoslavia as the M59/66 rifle. The country of origin can 
be determined by the markings. The Soviet and East German 
weapons usually carry the year of manufacture and the serial 
number on the front left of the receiver; the PRC weapons have 
the symbol 3l ~s\ (Type 56) located there, and the late 

PRC Type 56 has a spike bayonet. The North Korean weapons 
have "63" stamped into the receiver cover. The East German 
version has a hole through the stock for attaching the lower end of 
the sling; the others all have sling swivels. The Yugoslav M59/66 
(fig 3 ) has a prominent spigot-type grenade launcher permanently 
attached to the muzzle and a folding grenade launching sight (fig 
4 ) at the rear of the launcher. 

OPERATING HANDLE 




N«g. 511396 SAFETY 



Figure 1 . Soviet Simonov semiautomatic carbine (SKS). 



RfCEIVt* c:OVfR OA r . CYLINOfctt 




Figure 2 . East German Karabiner-S. 




*H. 5113M 



Figure 3 . Yugoslav M59/66 rifle. 



GRENADE SIGHT FRONT NIGHT SIGHT 




Figure 4 . M59/66 gas cutoff. 
Technical Data 

Technical data concerning the SKS carbine will be found in table 
II. 



2 



Operation 

a. Grasp the operating handle (fig 1 ), pull it fully to the 
rear, and release it. If the magazine is empty, the bolt will remain 
open. Insert a stripper clip into the clip guides at the top front of 
the bolt carrier, and with the thumb as close as possible to the 
base of the top cartridge, press the cartridges off the clip and into 
the magazine (fig 5 )• Remove the empty clip. If clipped 




Figure 5 . Loading the SKS. 

ammunition is not available, individual cartridges can be placed on 
top of the magazine follower and pressed down into the magazine 
until it is full. Pull operating handle rearward and release it; the 
bolt will run forward and chamber a cartridge. 

CAUTION: The rifle is now ready to fire! 



3 



b. If the rifle is not to be fired immediately, apply the 
safety (fig 1 ) by rotating it forward and upward. 

c. Set the rear sight for the desired range by depressing the 
slide catch (fig 1 ) and moving the sight bar along the leaf until 
the front edge of the bar is aligned with the line below the number 
that corresponds to the range in hundreds of meters. The first 
character on the sight leaf is a battle sight setting that is used in 
combat, for shooting at ranges up to 300 meters. The Yugoslav 
M59/66 has folddown luminous sights (fig 3 ) for use when firing 
under poor light conditions; flip these up for use. 

d. The front sight is adjustable for zero. 

e. To fire the weapon, rotate the safety rearward until it is 
parallel to the trigger; then aim, using a normal sight picture, and 
press the trigger. The SKS will fire one shot and reload itself; when 
the last round has been fired, the bolt will remain open. (The gas 
cutoff of the Yugoslav M59/66 must be turned to the right for the 
rifle to function. Press the gas cutoff button (fig 4 ) down and 
swing to the right). 

f. To unload or clear the SKS, apply the safety, then pull 
back the magazine catch (fig 3 ) and allow the magazine to swing 
open. Remove all cartridges and close the magazine. Grasp the 
operating handle, pull it fully rearward to eject any cartridge that 
might have been in the chamber, and release the handle; the bolt 
will remain open. Inspect to insure that no cartridges remain in the 
magazine, barrel, or receiver. Close the bolt, either by opening the 
magazine again and pulling rearward on the operating handle and 
releasing it, or by pressing the magazine platform down slightly 
and pulling the operating handle rearward and releasing it. Move 
the safety to the ready position, press the trigger and apply the 
safety. 



4 



g. The SKS bayonet is affixed by forcing the hilt to the 
rear (against spring pressure) 'and swinging the bayonet forward 
until it locks to the muzzle. This action is reversed to fold the 
bayonet in its stowed position. 

h. The Yugoslav M49/56 can launch rifle grenades. The 
grenades must have tail booms of 22-mm inside diameter and if at 
all possible, only Yugoslav-made grenades should be launched. 
Prior to firing grenades, clear the rifle and cut off the 
gas mechanism by pressing in the lock (fig 4 ) and rotating it to 
the top of the gas cylinder. Lift the grenade sight to its vertical 
position. Pull the operating handle rearward until it is caught open 
and insert a grenade launching cartridge into the chamber. 
(Note: These cartridges are packed in the tail booms of the 
Yugoslav grenades.) Under no circumstances can a bulleted 
cartridge be used; to do so will cause the grenade to explode on 
the launcher. Depress the follower and while holding it down pull 
the operating handle rearward then ease it forward. Tap the 
operating handle forward to insure that the bolt locked. Slide the 
appropriate type grenade fully onto the launcher. To launch the 
grenade, move the safety to the fire position, align the appropriate 
range arc (fig6 ) with the ogive (largest diameter) of the grenade 
and then align the sight and grenade on the target. Press the 
trigger. 

i. Prior to firing successive rounds, the operating handle 
must be smartly drawn rearward to eject the fired cartridge case. 
Prior to firing bulleted rounds, fold the grenade sight rearward, 
press in the lock (fig 6 ) and rotate it to the right as far as 
possible. 

Disassembly and Assembly 

a. To disassemble the SKS carbine: 



5 



Aiifipei.unnel Gtfnade Sc*Jf 




f lout Night Siyht 




Figure 6 M59/66 grenade sight erected. 

(1) Clear the weapon 

(2) Press in on the cover in the butt plate until the 
combination tool case is ejected. Unlock the bayonet, let it hang 
vertically, and after disengaging the head of the cleaning rod from 
the front sight base, pull the cleaning rod out of the rifle. 

Note: The East German Karabiner-S does not have a combination tool case 
in the butt, nor does it have a cleaning rod; these are carried separately. 



(3) Rotate the receiver cover pin (fig 2 j to a vertical 
position and pull it out as far as possible. 



6 



Note: It may be necessary to pry the receiver cover pin handle away from 
the receiver before it can be rotated. 

Remove the receiver cover to the rear and pull the driving spring 
assembly out of the bolt carrier. 

(4) Open the magazine by pulling the magazine catch 
(fig 3 ) to the rear. Pull the operating handle fully rearward, and 
lift the bolt carrier and bolt out of the receiver. Separate the bolt 
from the bolt carrier. 

(5) Rotate the gas cylinder tube lock (fig 2 ) to its 
uppermost position and lift the rear of the handguard to remove 
the gas cylinder tube and the gas piston. The tube can be upended 
and the piston will slide out. 




Figure 7 . SKS field stripped. 



(6) If necessary, the trigger group can be removed by 
depressing the catch located behind the loop of the trigger guard 
and pulling the trigger group down and out of the rifle. The safety 
must be in the safe position before the catch can be depressed. 

(7) No further disassembly is necessary or desirable. 



7 



b. To reassemble the weapon, follow the procedure listed 
below: 

(1) Invert the rifle and engage the pins at the front of 
the trigger group with the notches behind the magazine box. 
Swing the trigger group into position in the stock and seat it by a 
blow of the hand on the loop of the trigger guard. Move the safety 
to the fire position to insure that the catch is fully engaged. 

(2) Slide the gas piston, small end first, into the gas 
cylinder tube; fit the large end of the tube over the gas cylinder 
(fig 2 )• Swing the rear end of the gas cylinder tube into the rear 
sight base and turn the gas cylinder lock downward. 

(3) Place the bolt into the receiver, with the extractor 
to the right front, and position the rear of the bolt about 
three-eights of an inch from the inner rear wall of the receiver. Lay 
the bolt carrier on the bolt and while pressing down on the carrier, 
move it slightly back and forth until it mates with the bolt. Slide 
the bolt and bolt carrier fully forward in the receiver. Insert the 
driving spring assembly, stepped end first, into the bolt carrier. 

(4) Insure that the receiver cover pin is pulled fully out 
to the right, then slide the receiver cover into place from the rear. 
Secure it with the receiver cover pin and rotate the pin down to 
the locked position. Close the magazine, and replace the cleaning 
rod and the combination tool case. 

Functioning 

a. The SKS semiautomatic carbine is gas operated (fig 
8 )• After the SKS has been loaded, pressure on the trigger 
releases the hammer, which impacts against the firing pin, firing 
the rifle. The propellant gases drive the bullet through the barrel, 



8 



and after the bullet passes the gas port, some of the gases are 
tapped off and directed against t'he piston head. 

b. The propellant gases drive the piston and operating rod 
rearward against the bolt carrier. This forces the carrier and the 
hammer rearward and compresses the driving and hammer springs. 
After the bolt carrier moves rearward about one-fourth inch, a 
cam on the inner top of the bolt carrier (6, fig 8 ) contacts a 
projection on the top rear ot the bolt and lifts the rear of the bolt 
up and out of its seat in the receiver. The disconnector, which has 
been held down by the bolt, now rises. The bolt and bolt carrier 
now travel rearward as a unit, while the piston is returned forward 
by die spring. The extractor withdraws the fired cartridge case 
from the chamber and holds it to the bolt until the case strikes the 
fixed ejector and is expelled. The rear end of the bolt carrier 
strikes the inner wall of the receiver, and all rearward movement 
then terminates. 

c. The driving spring expands and forces the bolt and bolt 
carrier forward; the bolt drives the top round out of the magazine 
and into the chamber. When the cartridge is fully seated in the 
chamber, the extractor snaps into the groove of the cartridge, and 
forward movement of the bolt ceases. The bolt carrier still has a 
short distance to travel, and as it does, cams the rear of the bolt 
down into its seat in the receiver; the bolt, as it seats, forces the 
disconnector down. All forward movement terminates when the 
bolt carrier strikes the receiver. 

d. The SKS has a complicated trigger mechanism (fig 9 )• 
The hammer is cocked by the recoiling bolt and is held cocked by 
a sliding sear. The sear is disengaged from the hammer by a 
spring-loaded trigger bar pivoted to the top of the trigger. The 
vertical alignment of the trigger bar is controlled by the 
disconnector; this, when depressed by the locking of the bolt, 



9 



1 BOLT COVER 


24 


FOLLOWER ARM 


2 DRIVING SPRING 


25 


FOLLOWER 


3 HAMMER SPRING 


26 


MAGAZINE CATCH 


4 HAMMER 


27 


SEAR 


5 BOLT CARRIER 


28 


DISCONNECTOR 


6 LOCKING CAM 


29 


HAMMER SPRING PLUNGER 


7 LAST ROUND STOP 


30 


TRIGGER BAR 


8 BOLT 


31 


TRIGGER 


9 TAPPET 


32 


SAFETY 


10 TAPPET RETURN SPRING 


33 


LATCH 


11 HANDGUARD 


34 


STOCK 


23 FOLLOWER SPRING 


36 


DISCONNECTOR SPRING 



Neg. 511404 

Figure 8 • SKS section. 

presses down on the trigger bar and thus aligns the trigger bar and 
sear. Pressure on the trigger v/ill force the trigger bar to move 
forward and disengage the scar from the hammer. The hammer 
swings forward to fire the rifle (A, fig 9 ), and as it docs, a cam 
on the bottom of the hammer depresses the disconnector, which 
in turn depresses the trigger bar below the sear. The sear spring 
forces the sear back against the hammer. 

e. When the hammer is rocke d back by the bolt, it strikes 
the disconnector and depresses it. The disconnector insures that 
the contact between the trigger bar and the sear is broken by 
depressing the trigger bar (B, fig 9 )• When the bolt 



10 



4 




3 HAMMER SPRING 

4 HAMMER 

26 MAGAZINE CATCH 

27 SEAR 

28 DISCONNECTOR 

29 HAMMER SPRING PLUNGER 

30 TRIGGER BAR 

31 TRIGGER 

32 SAFETY 

36 DISCONNECTOR SPRING 

37 DISCONNECTOR PIN 

38 TRIGGER BAR PIN 

39 TRIGGER PIN 

40 SAFETY PIVOT 

41 HAMMER SPRING PLUNGER PIN 

42 HAMMER PIN 

43 MAGAZINE CATCH STOP PIN 

44 SEAR SPRING 

45 LOCKING SHOULDER 



31 



Net. 51U05 

Figure 9 . SKS trigger mechanism. 

counterrecoils, the hammer moves forward slightly, off the 
disconnector, which rises and allows the trigger bar to rise against 
the bottom of the sear (the disconnector having risen to its highest 
point). When the trigger is released, the trigger bar moves rearward 
until it is clear of the sear, then it springs up (if the bolt is locked) 
against the disconnector, and the rifle is ready for another shot (C, 

fig 9 )• 



1 1 



f. The disconnector (B, fig 9 ) prevents the rifle from 
firing if the bolt is not fully locked. It does this in two ways: by 
its control of the position of the trigger bar; and by a notch in the 
disconnector, which intercepts the sear notch of the hammer if the 
disconnector is not fully depressed, such as when the bolt is not 
fully locked. 

g. The safety, when rotated up to the safe position, places 
a block behind the trigger and prevents the trigger from being 
pressed. 

h. The bolt catch is normally held depressed by a light 
spring. When the last round is fed from the magazine, a nib on the 
magazine platform contacts the catch and forces it upward. As the 
recoiling bolt passes the catch, the catch protrudes into the bolt 
path and holds the bolt open. 

Accessories 

a. The following accessories are available for use with the 
SKS semiautomatic carbine: 

(1) Combination tool kit. 

(2) Sling. 

(3) Charger clips. 

(4) Standard Soviet pattern two-compartment oil and 
cleaning solvent container, or Yugoslav one-compartment oiler. 

b. The combination tool kit, except for its cap, is similar in 
appearance and use to the kit for the AK-47 assault rifle. When 



12 



used as a cleaning rod guide, the cap is twisted into engagement 
with the front sight base. 



c. The stripper clips are used to charge the rifle's magazine. 
Each holds 10 cartridges. 



Table I. Rifle Malfunction* 



Condition 


Cause 


Remedy 


Falls to fire 


Defective cartridge 


Reload 


(cartridge in 


Boll not fully 


Clean and 


chamber 


locked 


lubricate 


Falls to fire (no 


Short recoil 


Clean and 


cartridge in 




lubricate 


chamber) 






Falls to extract 


Fouled weapon 


Clean and 


or eject 




lubricate 



Table II. Rifle Technical Data 



Weapon 


Simonov 
carbine 


Short name 


SKS 


Caliber (mm) 


7.62 


Length (mm) 


1020 


Mass, empty (kg) 


3.85 


Barrel length (mm) 


520 


Magazine capacity (rd) 


10 


Operation 


Gas 


Lock feature 


Tilting bolt 


Muzzle velocity (in/s) 


735 


Practical range (m) 


400 


Rate of fire (rd/min) 


35-40 


Method of loading 


10-rd 




charger 



13 



I. PURPOSE AND SCOPE 



This manual will provide information to the user which will 
allow proficiency training in the use and care of the Simonov 
Type 45, or the PRC Type 56 rifles. The information contained 
within this report will apply to either type rifle and where 
differences occur you will find notation to that effect. 

II. CONDITIONS OF PERFORMANCE 

You will be given a Simonov type rifle, ten rounds of 7.62X39MM 
ammunition, an inert round, a striper clip, and a combination 
tool kit. 

III. STANDARDS 

Within the limitations given in performance standards below, 
adjust, load, fire, reduce a stoppage, unload, and clear the 
weapon . 

IV. PERFORMANCE 

A. Adjust, load and fire the weapon. (See fig. 1.) 



FIGURE 1 




1. Adjust: 

a. Adjust rear sight: (See fig. 2.) 

1. Depress slide catch. 

2. Slide sight carrier along the leaf until 
front edge of bar aligns with line below 
the number that corresponds to specified 
range in hundreds of meters (100-10000. 



14 



b. Adjust rear sight: (See fig. 2.) 



FIGURE 2 




1. Slip combination wrench over the front sight 
post. Turn post clockwise to raise the 
strike of the bullet; turn conterclockwise 
to lower the strike of bullet. 

2. Remove tool from sight post. 
2. Load within 20 seconds: 

a. Rotate safety forward into the "safe" position 
this will be parallel with the stock. 

b. Pull operating handle back and release it. 
If the magazine is empty, the bolt will 
remain open. 

c. Insert a stripper clip into the clip guides at 
the front of the bolt carrier. 

d. Press cartridges off the clip and into the 
magazine, (the thumb should be as close to the 
face of the clip as possible). 

e. Remove empty clip. 

NOTE: IF CLIPPED AMMO IS NOT AVAILABLE, INDIVIDUAL ROUNDS MAY 
BE PLACED ON TOP OF THE MAGAZINE FOLLOWER AND PRESSED DOWN INTO 
THE MAGAZINE UNTIL IT IS FULL. 



15 



f . Pull operating handle back and release it. 
(Bolt will go forward and chamber a round). 

3. Fire within 5 seconds: 

a. Rotate the safety selector to the rear until 
it is pointed full down and is against the 
rear of the trigger guard. ("FIRE" position). 

b. Aim and fire. The bolt will remain closed 
between rounds and open after the last round. 

4. IMMEDIATE ACTION TO: Reduce stoppage. 

a. When rifle fails to fire, pull the operating 
handle back to eject bad round, watch for 
ejection, release handle to chamber new round. 

b. Aim and atempt to fire. 

c. If immediate action fails to reduce stoppage, 
unload, clear, disassemble, and inspect. 
Repair or replace defect and reasemble. 

5. UNLOAD AND CLEAR WEAPON: 

a. Place weapon on "SAFE". 

b. Pull back magazine catch and allow magazine to 
swing open. 

c. Remove all cartridges. 

d. Close the magazine. 

e. Pull operating handle to the rear to eject any 
remaining rounds. 

f. Release the handle (bolt will remain open). 

g. Inspect to insure no cartridges remain in the 
magazine, chamber, or receiver. 

h. Close bolt: 

1. Open magazine again and pull operating 
handle to rear and release. 

2. Pull operating handle to the rear, press 
down on the magazine follower slightly, 
then ease bolt carrier forward. 



16 



i. Move safety to "FIRE" position. 

j . Press trigger. 

k. Place weapon on "SAFE". 



17 



MAINTAINING THE SKS RIFLE 



V. PURPOSE 

You will learn disassembly, cleaning, reassembly of the weapon 
within 35 minutes. You will also learn ammunition maintainenca 
and to perform a function check. 

VI. CONDITION OF PERFORMANCE 

You will be given an SKS rifle, a cleaning rod and combination 
tool kit, 10 rounds of 7.62 X 39MM ammunition, a wire bore 
brush, chamber brush, and toothbrush, rifle bore cleaner, lube 
oil, solvent, cleaning patches, and clean rags. 

VII. PERFORMANCE 

A. Disassemble weapon within 2 minutes. 



FIGURE 3. 




6 



r 



i 





4 



7 



Rifle SKS Soviet 



1. Gas cylinder 

2. Bolt carrier 

3. Gas piston 

4. Gas piston extension 4 spring 

5. Bolt 



6. 
7. 
8. 
9. 
10. 



Receiver cover 
Barrel 4 receiver 
Stock 
Magazi ne 
Trigger group 



18 



1. Insure weapon is clear and on "SAFE" . 

2. Remove recoil spring assembly: 

a. Rotate the receiver cover retaining pin 
to the vertical position and pull to the 
right. 

b. Remove the receiver cover by sliding it 
to the rear and lifting off. 

c. Pull the recoil spring assembly from the 
bolt carrier. 

3. Remove the bolt and carrier. 

a. Pull operating handle to the rear. 

b. Lift the bolt and bolt carrier out of 
the receiver. 

4. Separate the bolt from the carrier. 

5. Remove the gas cylinder and piston: 

a. Rotate the gas cylinder tube lock until 
the handle is at a 45 degree angle to 
the rear. 

b. Lift the rear of the handguard to remove 
the gas cylinder tube and gas piston. 

c. Lower front end of tube and allow piston 
to slide out. 

6. Remove gas piston extension and spring: 

a. Place thumb in front of rear sight base. 

b. Rotate gas cylinder tube lock slowly 
forward. 

c. Remove and separate piston extension and 
spring. 

7. Remove trigger group: 

a. Insure weapon is on "SAFE" . 

b. Push in on trigger group retaining lock. 

c. Pull trigger group up and out. 

19 



d. Remove magazine by pulling up and out. 

e. Unlock bayonet and separate barrel from 
the stock. 

B. Identify weapon parts. (See fig 2). 

C. Cleaning and maintainance. (See page 22). 

D. Reassemble weapon within 4 minutes: 

1. Attach barrel to stock, and lock bayonet 
into closed position. 

2. Replace magazine into stock leaving it 
open. 

3. Replace trigger group: 

a. Invert rifle and engage pins at the 
front of the trigger group (notches 
must be behind the magazine box). 

b. Swing trigger group into position in 
the stock (seat it by a hand blow on 
the loop of the trigger guard). 

c. Move safety to "FIRE" position to 
insure catch is fully engaged. 

4. Replace gas piston extension and spring: 

a. Place gas piston extension and spring: 

b. Hold gas tube lock in vertical position. 

c. Insert gas piston extension with spring 
back into it's recess in front of the 
rear sight. 

d. Push back into recess until it can be 
locked into place. 

e. Lock by rotating gas tube lock 45 degree 
angle to the rear. 

5. Replace gas cylinder tube and piston: 

a. Slide gas piston, small end first, into 
the front of the gas tube. 

20 



b. Fit large end of gas tube over the gas 
cylinder block on barrel. 

c. Swing rear end of gas cylinder tube into 
rear sight base. 

d. Turn gas cylinder lock down into the 
detent . 

6. Replace bolt and carrier: 

a. Connect bolt and carrier together and 
place bolt and carrier into the receiver. 

b. Push down and forward all the way to seat. 

7. Replace recoil spring assembly: 

a. Insert recoil spring assembly, curled end 
first, into bolt carrier. 

b. Pull receiver cover pin fully to the right. 

c. Slide receiver cover into place from the 
rear. 

d. Secure cover with receiver cover pin. 

e. Rotate pin down to locked position. 

8. Close magazine. 

VII. PERFORM FUNCTION CHECK WITHIN 20 SECONDS. 

1. Pull operating handle to the rear and hold it. 

2. Press down on magazine follower. 

3. Allow bolt to go forward. 

4. Place safety lever on "SAFE". 

5. Press trigger (hammer should not go forward). 

6. Place safety lever on "FIRE" . 

7. Press trigger (hammer should go forward). 

21 



IX. CLEANING TOE WEAPON. 



1. Use rifle bore cleaner (RBC) to clean the 
face of the slide. 

2. Clean the bore and chamber by: 

a. Wetting a patch with RBC and running it 
back and forth through the bore several 
times. 

b. Attach a bore brush to the cleaning rod 
and run it through the bore and chamber 
several times. 

c. Run dry patches through the bore and 
chamber until they come out clean. 

d. Inspect bore for fouling and residue. 
If it is not clean, repeat the above 
cleaning process. 

3. Clean the other parts with RBC or a cleaning 
solvent to remove all grease, dirt, or 
powder fouling. Soak small parts in cleaning 
solution. 

4. Dry the parts using clean, dry rags. 

5. Cover all parts with a light coat of oil. 



22